"There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. If has symmetry, elegance, and grace--those qualities you find always in the branch clusters of he creosole bush or the pattern of its leaves. We try to copy these patterns in our lives and our society, seeking the rhythms, the dances, and the forms that comfort. Yet, it is possible to see peril in the finding of ultimate perfection. It is clear that the ultimate pattern contains its own fixity. In such perfection, all things move towards death." ~ from "The Collected Sayings of Maud'Dib" by the Princess Irulan ~


It does not sound reasonable to me that a creature as intelligent and amazing as the cuttlefish has such a short life-span. I discovered over the past 2 days that this rule was also true for my own cuttlefish, 'Cthulhu'. The second photo was taken less than a week ago and she was fine, looked great, was eating well and as beautiful as ever. The first photo was last night as she fell into a deep sleep in blurry ink-filled water. I've tried to discover what caused her death and the only thing I can figure was that she either ate a piece of bad shrimp from the store or simply died of old age. They typically live 18 months, yet she was tank raised and bred so I figured she had a pretty good chance. I guess I was wrong, because 2 days ago she inked the entire tank really bad, and I did a major water change, then again yesterday she had crawled between the glass and a rock and seemed alarmed and inked again and I changed almost 1/2 of the water again. She had stopped eating for 2 days since Sunday.

So I've stopped blaming myself for her death and have begun reflecting on her amazing life and what an amazing psychedelic creature she was. I've got a lot of videotape and photographs of her -- literally hundreds. But the most amazing thing about her was the way she responded to humans. She grew to like my company and in the early evening while I was watching her from the couch she would 'beg' by moving up and down the glass for me to come over and when I did she would respond by changing her color patterns and movements.

Believe it or not she also liked to be handled. I would slowly put my hand in the tank and she would come up to my hand and rub against it. She would let me hold her lightly while she made 2 dark circles on either side of her back. It was a great experience to get this close to her. She watched television also, often flickering her bodies colors to imitate what she was seeing on the screen. She played with the hermit crabs in the aquarium and I could sense her frustration as she tossed one out of her mouth after being unable to pull the crab out of it's protective shell. All these things added so much joy to my own life for the past 7 months.

But one thing that is the most noticeable was this kind of energy -- a flicker of the ink cells on the skin flickering her life spark in such a beautiful way that seemed like a life force that moved at ALL times on her little body. Even when she was in a deep sleep halfway under a blanket of sand, I could see this flicker -- a pattern that was on her body even after she floated lifelessly in the tank as she died. I found after I lifted her body out that her skin still moved with this pattern, and she had not breathed from her exhalation valve for a long time. The skin kind of moved as well, and if I touched her white belly, an area of little cellular flickers would follow and stay on the skin for a few seconds and then turn white again. I have a feeling that the flicker that she made all of her life left her last night and went somewhere still beyond our grasp, but I feel as though I may see that flicker again.